SANTEE'S MAYOR VOEPEL VIES FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT AGAINST HUNTER AIDE HARRISON

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER DEFENDS DECISION NOT TO FIRE OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT; CITIZENS ASK FOR JUSTICE DEPT. PROBE

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

CAJON CLASSIC CRUISES: SEASON OPENS APRIL 22

HOT NEWS: SUMMER WEATHER TO START EARLY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS MARCH 24 - APRIL 12

PARTY WITH THE PRESS! MARCH 31 AT SAN PASQUAL WINERY AS WE UNVEIL OUR LA MESA LIVING SPECIAL SECTION

LAWSUIT IS LATEST IN STRING OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS AT EL CAJON POLICE

AMBULANCE UPDATES ANNOUNCED

CA BALLOT INITIATIVE SEEKS TO KILL GAYS

ISIS THREATENS MILITARY MEMBERS, INCLUDING SAN DIEGANS

COUNTY CHANGES AMBULANCE SERVICE WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTICE: PUBLIC SAFETY ADVOCATES VOICE ALARM

WINE PAIRING DINNER AT JEREMY’S ON THE HILL FEBRUARY 22

By Caprice Harrison

February 19, 2013 (Wynola/Julian) -- Hart Winery and Jeremy’s on the Hill present their second annual Temecula and Julian Wine Pairing Extravaganza this Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m.

Call: (760)765-1587 to make your reservation. The cost is $49 for one person or $95 for two plus tax and gratuity. (Please view the special menu for the event below.)

Jeremy’s on the Hill specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and features many local breweries and wineries at the restaurant. Chef Jeremy Manley, 25, a Cordon Bleu graduate, has been working with food and cooking since the age of ten.

STORM TO DROP SNOW TO LOW LEVELS; HAZARDOUS WINDS ALSO FORECAST

 

February 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)-The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect now through noon on Wednesday. 

A very cold Pacific storm will  bring heavy rain, low elevation snow and, thunderstorms. Snow levels will drop down to 2000 to 2500 feet tonight with higher valley and desert areas potentially seeing light accumulations of snow. Rain will occur elsewhere this afternoon and continue through Wednesday morning with amounts ranging from 0.50 to 1.00 inches except less than 0.25 inches in the deserts. Very strong and hazardous winds will also affect the mountains and deserts.

COMMUNITY GARDEN DAY IN EL CAJON FEB. 23

 

February 17, 2013 (El Cajon)--Feb. 23, 2012 is a Day of Celebrating Community Gardens in El Cajon. Events are scheduled throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at different gardens and venues. Please see attached flyer.

At 11 a.m. there will be a grand opening celebration at Circle Community Garden, 476 Highland at Farragut Circle. We will celebrate with a ribbon cutting at 10:55, short speeches by dignitaries, introduction of committee and Master Gardeners. Cake then will be served and Master Gardener Joyce Gemmell and others will be there to answer gardening questions.

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: BALBOA PARK--THE GOOD GUYS WIN

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

February 19, 2013 (Revised February 20) -- Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs’ plan for an extensive remodel of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park sailed easily through the San Diego City Council last summer — Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s was the only vote against it — but it hit a snag in San Diego Superior Court February 5.

That’s when Judge Timothy Taylor, ruling in the suit the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) filed against the city to stop the Jacobs plan, found that the city had basically ignored its own rules by insisting that the current configuration of the park, with much of its area used for large, free parking lots, was not a “reasonable beneficial use of the property” under city law.

POWER LINE UPGRADE TO IMPACT TRAFFIC FLOW IN SANTEE

 

February 19, 2013 (Santee)--Motorists will have to be cautious along Magnolia Avenue and Mast Boulevard for the next several months because of a major construction project by San Diego Gas & Electric. Crews will be replacing wood and steel poles with galvanized steel and concrete poles.

The project footprint will span 11 miles from the utility’s Sycamore substation to the Santee substation near Mast Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue.  According to the City of Santee’s website, the infrastructure upgrades are necessary to service the expansion of the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility and to improve power circuit stability.

FOREST SERVICE BURNING CLEARED BRUSH IN SAN VICENTE AND PALOMAR AREAS TODAY

February 19, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --Cleveland National Forest is conducting burning operations today in the San Vicente area in East County and on Palomar Mountain near Observatory Campground.  This is a continuation of burning operations that began yesterday, but are not expected to continue into tomorrow due to the weather system that may bring rain and that is moving into southern California.

The Forest Service is burning fuels that have been piled as a result of hand and mechanical fuel treatments in the area.

LA MESA CHAMBER CELEBRATES 2013 LOCAL HEROES FEB. 21 AT CASINO ROYALE NIGHT

February 10, 2013 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will honor eight local heroes at the 5th Annual Casino Royale Night on Feb. 21 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort Hotel, 500 Hotel Circle N., San Diego.  This year’s heroes are paramedics Ryan Ferguson and Paul Forney of American Medical Response, Battalion Chief Kelly Sisson and firefighter/paramedic Brandon Drips of Heartland Fire & Rescue, Officer Derik Cox and dispatcher Kathy Norman of the La Mesa Police Dept. and Don Kurban and Dick Thomas of the La Mesa Police Department Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol.

“INDOCTRINATED” EXPOSES CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING

Lemon Grove Filmmaker Jim Ellis Creates 33-Minute Documentary for Children, Parents to Watch Together

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

February 18, 2013 (Lemon Grove)--Nikki’s story is all too typical of the ones told in Lemon Grove filmmaker Jim Ellis’s new 33-minute documentary, Indoctrinated: The Grooming of Children Into Prostitution. At age 18, to raise the money to go to college, she took a job in a strip club. There she met an older man who helped her out financially, bought her nice clothes and accessories, and got her to fall in love with him and ultimately move in with him. Then he put the hammer down and told her that in order to keep her lifestyle — and his affections — she’d have to have sex with other men, for which he, not she, would be paid. Nikki’s story ends more happily than most such tales; she got out of “the life,” as prostitutes call it, and in her 20’s is trying to piece her life back together. She’s sufficiently self-assured that of all the present and former prostitutes Ellis interviewed, she was the only one who agreed to show her face on camera instead of having it electronically blurred.

OVER 500 SAN DIEGANS JOIN NATIONWIDE PROTEST AGAINST KEYSTONE XL

 

Photos by Diane Lesher

February 17, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner and over 500 San Diego protestors in Mission Bay Park joined similar rallies in cities across America Sunday in protest of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, beginning a massive effort to demand President Obama block it and call for leaders at all levels to take action to fight global warming.

Speaking at the San Diego rally, Mayor Bob Filner expressed his concerns about Keystone, climate change and what he wants to do in San Diego.

FCC TO REVIEW RADIOFREQUENCY RADIATION GUIDELINES

 

February 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reviewing its policies on radiofrequency (RF) radiation, such as that emitted by cell phone towers, smart meters, broadcast antennae and other sources.  Public comments will be accepted until March 6, 2013.

SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATION BILL

 

February 18, 2013 (Washington D.C.) –“Everyone has a teacher from their past who inspired them. Teachers play a significant role in a student’s development and as our nation’s builders, which is why it is so important to give teachers the opportunities to grow as educators,” a press release from Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) states. However, many school districts lack a method for giving teachers and principals the developmental feedback to help them reach their ultimate professional potential. 

Davis, along with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced legislation that they believe will give teachers the feedback and the support they deserve.

COUNCIL UNANIMIOUSLY VOTES TO EXPEND FUNDS FOR LA MESA VILLAGE PARKING GARAGE FEASIBILITY STUDY

 

By Janis Mork

February 18, 2013 (La Mesa)- At the La Mesa City Council meeting Tuesday, Paul Marra, senior principal from Keyser Marston Associates Inc., and Stephen Cook from Fehr and Peets  gave a presentation on the La Mesa Village Parking garage.

 Bill Chopyk, La Mesa community development director, advised that staff recommended that the Council establish the parking in-lieu fee to “provide an incentive to develop downtown.” Developers would pay this fee into a fund in lieu of providing required parking on site, and the fees can be used to provide centralized public parking, (http://www.mapc.org/resources/parking-toolkit/strategies-topic/fees-lieu).

MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING LA MESA WOMAN HE MET VIA CHRISTIAN DATING SITE

February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) –Del Mar resident Sean Patrick Banks is accused of raping a La Mesa woman who he met through ChristianMingle.com, an online dating site. Police say he used several aliases on the site and has traveled considerably, leading to concerns that there could be other victims.

He is free on bail, after pleading not guilty to sexual assault and burglary charges, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Banks also reportedly used the names Rarity, Ryan Butterwood, and Ryan Harlough online.

Lt. Matt Nicholass with La Mesa Police has said that Banks was invited to the victim’s home and “ultimately ended up raping her.” The dating site cooperated with authorities to track Banks down, he added.

LA MESA STUDENT, 10, AMONG WINNERS OF MASTERMIND® BRAINTWISTER CHALLENGE AT TOY FAIR 2013

 

February 17, 2013 (New York)--Pressman Toy (www.PressmanToy.com), announced winners of its first annual Mastermind Braintwister Challenge February 10 at its 110th annual American International Toy Fair. The first place winners, 4th grader Gaurov Bansal, age 10 from Stamford, CT; won for “Letters Equal Numbers” and 5th grader Sophi Schneider, age 10 from Dresher, PA, won for “Wordsticks Mode 4 – Let’s Race.”  Each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Three Braintwister category winners were also awarded $100 each:

  •          “Difficulty” – Luke Cepurac, 10, La Mesa, CA,  for his entry “Order Up”
  •          “Skills” – Erica Blakely, 12, Tinley Park, IL, for her entry “Who, What, Where”
  •          “Creativity” – Max Hartle, 12, Tampa, FL, for his entry “Air Attack”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FOUR-WHEELING INTO MCCAIN VALLEY

 

February 17, 2013 (McCain Valley) – Melody Ponchot of Boulevard sent this beautiful set of photos from an early morning adventure she took with a friend, Donna Tisdale, after the snowfall last weekend.

“Four wheeling in the snow to McCain Valley is so much fun,” she observed. 

This pristine public land, one of East County’s most beautiful recreational areas, is slated to be razed for construction of Tule Wind, an industrial wind facility approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management despite overwhelming public opposition.

 

AGE RANGE EXPANDED TO 21 FOR LA MESA SOAP BOX DERBY RALLY RACES MARCH 2 AND 3

February 17, 2013 (La Mesa) – By affiliating with National Derby Rallies (NDR), the Drew Ford/Kiwanis Club of La Mesa Soap Box Derby Rally Races set for March 2 and 3 on Junior High Drive in La Mesa, will allow drivers up to age 21 – if they can still fit in the race cars. The cut-off with All American Soap Box Derby is age 17.

“By affiliating with NDR, we are also gaining exposure of our La Mesa races to the NDR family of soap box derby,” said Derby Director Steve Blake.  “NDR, which is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, focuses on rally races.

PROTEST TO STOP KEYSTONE XL PINELINE TODAY IN SAN DIEGO

February 17, 2013 (San Diego) – Across the nation, protests are being organized on Presidents Day, February 17, against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. In San Diego, environmental groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org will gather at Mission Bay Park Vistiors Center (Mission Bay Drive and Clairemont Drive) from 1-3 p.m.

WANT TO GO SOLAR? SULLIVAN SOLAR HOSTS OPEN HOUSE FEB. 23 IN ALPINE

February 17, 2013 (Alpine) – Sullivan Solar is hosting an open house on Saturday, February 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2855 Via Viejas Oeste in Alpine.

Learn about incentives for going solar.

If your average electric bill is $197, installing a 5 kW solar system is now possible with zero out of pocket costs and new monthly solar payments of $165—less than your current utility bill.

ALPINE CHAMBER PLAYERS PERFORMED FOR LIBRARY LOVERS ON VALENTINE'S DAY

February 17, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Library celebrated “Library Lovers’ Day” in style, with a delightful performance of the Alpine Chamber Players. The audience enjoyed beautiful classical pieces, intermixed with rousing and romantic vocal numbers sung by Sylvia Hartman, the group’s pianist and leader. Alpine Library Friends Association sponsored the program, and also provided delicious Valentine cookies for all in attendance.

Other Library News for this week include:

1. The next “RUFF Readers” program is scheduled for Tuesday, February 19. Call now (619-445-4221) to sign up for a slot after school, and read toward a FREE book! Beginning March 5, we will be offering this program weekly.

GUESS WHO'S TURNING 100? LAKESIDE LIBRARY HOSTS CENTENNIAL FEB. 23

February 17, 2013 (Lakeside) – The Lakeside Library is having its 100th birthday party on Saturday February 23rd from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. You’re invited to a Centennial Celebration.

Scroll down for a schedule of events, including games, a trivia contest, historical presentations, Sparkles the Clown, a costume contest (dress as your favorite character from a book, or as a librarian) and of course, birthday cake.

THE ATTORNEY'S CORNER: WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR ESTATE PLAN

“Your source for Trusts, Wills, Probate, Family Law & more”

By Stephen C. Ross, Esq.

February 17, 2013 (San Diego County) – I often talk with people who believe estate planning is only for the wealthy. However, even people with few assets may benefit from proper estate planning.

You may be subject to formal probate proceedings if the gross real and personal property value of your estate exceeds $150,000 and you do not have a revocable trust. A properly prepared power of attorney for health care may avoid the need for a costly conservatorship proceeding if you subsequently lack capacity to make your own decisions. A power of attorney may avoid a conservatorship proceeding and ensure that a person you trust is ready to handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

THE CAREGIVER'S JOURNEY: A LONG AND WINDING PATH

Becoming your parents' parent conjures up pictures of "tangled apron strings."

By Marsha Kay Seff

February 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- As a child, the strings seemed well-defined.  You needed your parents and their role was to fulfill your needs.  Now, with your parents aging and leaning increasingly on you, the apron strings are tangled, wound tightly around you.

This role reversal isn’t easy for any of you.  Your parents, no doubt, are fighting furiously to cling to their dignity and independence.  And you’re pulled between the demands of your life and theirs.

MASKED MAN ROBS 7-11 IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO AT GUNPOINT

February 16, 2013 (Rancho San Diego) – At 1:33 a.m.,  deputies from the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Station responded to an armed robbery at the 7-11 store  at 1498 Jamacha Road in unincorporated El Cajon.

“The suspect in the robbery was a male, wearing a black jacket and jeans. The race of the suspect is unknown because he was wearing a mask,” said Sergeant V.J. Rivera.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE HOSTING SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE

 

February 16, 2013 (El Cajon)--Cuyamaca College's Ornamental Horticulture Department is hosting its 5th Annual Sustainable Landscape Conference, "Air, Earth, Water, Fire," from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the college's Performing Arts Theater. The $90 registration fee covers the conference, a trade show, and a continental breakfast and lunch.

SANTEE SANTAS AMAZING RACE IN BALBOA PARK FEB.23

 

February 16, 2013 (San Diego)--It’s like TV’s Amazing Race to help Santee Santas! Teams of two make their way around Balboa Park solving cryptic clues and completing challenges. At the end of the race, everyone meets up at the finish line where teams are awarded prizes, receive free refreshments and re-hash the day’s exciting events.

MARINE FROM SANTEE ADOPTS DOG THAT FELL 80 FEET OFF CLIFF

 

County News Center

February 15, 2013 (Santee)--A Marine from Santee was chosen from more than 70 applicants to adopt the young Chihuahua that fell 80 feet from a cliff in Ocean Beach Jan. 11. The four-month-old pup has been under the care of County Animal Services while it recovered from head trauma, fractured ribs and numerous bruises. Once the little dog was healed, with the help of the department’s Spirit Fund, Animal Services began accepting adoption applications.

“Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Szczepanowski was chosen because he sent a story along with his application and it struck a chord,” said Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. 

Szczepanowski works in the wounded warrior regiment at Marine Corps Headquarters.    

EL CAJON WILDLIFE PAINTER GLORIA CHADWICK IS FEATURED ARTIST AT WILDLIFE ART FESTIVAL FEB. 16-17

February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--El Cajon resident and wildlife painter Gloria Chadwick has been selected as the featured artist for the 40th annual California Open Wildlife Art Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and 17, at Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma area. The festival, open to the public, will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both weekend days at Liberty Station’s Corky McMillin Event Center, NTC Promenade, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego. Admission is $5 per person, and children under 12 years of age are free. For more information, visit www.PSWA.net.

SONS OF NORWAY EVENT TODAY AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

Lutefisk - will it produce an Edvard Munch’s Norwegian scream out of you? 

By Rebecca J. Williamson

February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- “Strange, one of a kind, unique; a very different kind of food,” said a native Norwegian and former President of the House of Norway in Balboa Park—Eugenie King. 

King, a Spring Valley resident, laid out the fundamentals of this Nordic delicacy. “It’s a fish, cod, which is soaked in lye.”

STAR GAZING PARTY AT MISSION TRAILS TONIGHT, FEB. 16

 

February 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) --Join Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guide and resident Star-Gazer George Varga at the far end of the Kumeyaay Campground's Day Use Parking Lot from 5 to 8:30 p.m. tonight. A telescope will be available to view the nighttime sky.

Tonight’s event is one day before First Quarter Moon. Deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula, the Little Beehive (M41) in Canis Major, Crab Nebula (M1) in Taurus and numerous Open Clusters in Auriga should be visible. Planet Jupiter will be high up almost on the meridian.

PASSAGES: NAVY VETERAN AND MOUNT HELIX RESIDENT SYLVESTER J. YANTA

February 18, 2013 (La Mesa) – Sylvester J. Yanta, a resident of the Mount Helix area, passed away on Sunday, February 3, 2013.   A veteran of the U.S. Navy who served his country for 20 years, he later worked for the State of California until his retirement.

He was born December 30, 1920 in Little Falls, Minnesota to Thomas and Mary Yanta, one of 12 children.  He is survived by his wife, Esther Sabo Yanta, and his two daughters, Nina Monrreal and Paula Butler, two grandchildren, one great-grandson, one brother and four sisters.

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